BORN HC cover
Fans of legendary author Stephen King and his Dark Tower series got a treat this week when Marvel released the DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER BORN hardcover collection, presenting the seven-issue prequel comic in its entirety. Overseen by King himself, plotted by King expert Robin Furth, scripted by Peter David and featuring gorgeous art by Jae Lee and Richard Isanove, DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER BORN provided another landmark for the epic saga, captivating millions of readers.
But just what is it about Stephen King's work that ensnares the folks here at Marvel?
Marvel.com polled the creative team of DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER BORN as well as some of the House of Ideas' biggest King fans for their favorite work by the master of horror and more.
It's Friday, so kick back, relax and enjoy.
JAE LEE (DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER BORN artist):
The final book
of King's Dark
I'm currently reading "Cell"—when I'm not drawing, that is. But my favorite King work has to be the Dark Tower series. And I'm not just saying that. I've followed the characters for seven novels and countless years. I grew so attached to them, that by the time I finished reading, I felt like my great journey had ended and I lost some of my best friends. I had never grown so attached to mere characters on a page before.
The story was also wildly unpredictable. Most books establish a certain order of how things are, no matter how fantastic. Every
"Cell" saw humans
zombies by their
story is governed by its own laws of physics and how a particular universe works is established. However, in the Dark Tower series, while there certainly was a universe created and bound by certain rules, it was done in such a way that anything could happen.
You don't read an espionage thriller and foresee a dinosaur attacking a city by the end of it. That's the great thing about Dark Tower. It takes such disparate elements that if thrown together by less capable hands, could have been nonsensical gibberish, but instead what King has created is a masterpiece that defies categorization into any genre.
CHRIS ELIOPOULOS (DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER BORN letterer):
spun out of a
Strangely enough, my favorite Stephen King work is his only non-fiction work—"On Writing." I love process. I love to see how people go about doing work creatively and I found parallels in the way I work. My favorite screen adaptations are "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Stand By Me." Love those movies. Have to watch them once a year.
JOHN BARBER (DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER BORN editor):
[My favorite King book was] probably "It." I read that during a key summer in my life. It was so massive a book, covered so much ground. It's one of those things you read at a certain
"It" featured a
age—and all my friends were reading it. I can't remember if I was reading Chris Baiocchi's copy, or Patrick Bonfrisco's, but we all read the same paperback copy.
Even though I haven't read it for, I don't know, 15, 16 years, I still remember chapter titles. "The Great Apocalyptic Rock Fight." Never forget it. It has such a dark, scary premise—the idea of something terrible that happens in your childhood that you forget, but it returns to wreck your adult life. I'm sure the metaphor escaped me entirely at that age, but it's a story that hits at a primal level. Like all the best of King's work.
RICHARD ISANOVE (DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER BORN artist):
My favorite book by Stephen King would be "Bag of Bones." When it
"Bag of Bones"
by the ghosts
of his past
came out, I was newly married , had started working for Marvel and I had less and less time to read. I decided to try listening to books on tape while I worked. "Bag of Bones" was prominently displayed at Borders and I saw it was read by the author.
The hero was himself a writer, which gave the novel a great sense of proximity and realism, almost intimacy. I had read some of SK's short stories and seen most of the movie adaptations, but listening to him reading the story to me was a real revelation.
I've since listened to everything of his that is available in audio and I still enjoy most the ones he recorded himself, like "On Writing" or "The Gunslinger." When I met him last year, it was very weird to
"Cujo," the tale
of one nasty puppy
hear the voice that I had listened to for hours coming out of an actual physical being.
BILL ROSEMANN (Marvel editor):
Ever since I picked up a paperback three-pack of "Cujo," "Christine" and "The Shining" back when I was about 14, I've been a huge Stephen King fanboy. From "It" to "Different Seasons" to "Cell," his books helped me navigate the often turbulent waters from high school to…well, now. And if you ever dream of writing comics—or just want more insight into the process of creating stories— run out and buy "On Writing" today!
MOLLY LAZER (Marvel assistant editor):
Molly Lazer enjoys
King's "On Writing"
I own somewhere around 50 of his books, so I think that qualifies me as a Stephen King fan. My favorite novel by King is "Needful Things" because I think the way that he weaves all of the characters in Castle Rock together is extremely smart. My favorite short story/novella is "The Long Walk"—in "The Bachman Books"—though I also like "Apt Pupil" a lot.